1. #1
    2birdies
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    2birdies take on European Sportsbooks

    The aim with this thread is to give my take (and take into account people I know who actually are pro's) what European Sportsbooks are good or bad, for anyone thinking about opening an account. I think this might help people choose carefully what bookmakers to use and give somehow a balance to all the 'Official Reviews' out there. I certainly do not agree with all the reviews and grades for all bookmakers out there.

    And no, I am not hired by any sportsbook or sponsored or get money for anyone opening an account. This is only information from someone who has been around the block for a while.

    I will write from time to time in this thread and give my view. Comments or disagreements or anything else that might add value to the thread is appreciated.

    As for anything having to do with money, always be careful. What is the purpose of winning a lot at one bookmaker and at the end never get paid?

    Unibet

    This is one of my favorite bookies despite the fact I know it's ranked extremely low at SBR (due to a rule that actually is insane itself, so therefor hard to argue for an absolute downgrade for that reason perhaps).

    The reason I like this bookmaker so much is that they are basically good for any kind of punter (unless you are betting extremely high, but then you should stick with your current bookies anyway).

    The recreational punter will find one of the most exciting betting offers out there, both pre-match and live. Unibet is one the few bookies that actually have compilers these days, the old-school way of creating a market. Most other bookies buy their odds, or buy a module that provides odds or just copy n paste someone else odds.

    The company has been around for a long time and started out in Sweden. Nowadays it's more of an 'International European Bookmaker' if such a word did exist. They are pretty big all over Europe and has managed to take rather big chunks of markets in a lot of countries.

    I have only a few times during a lot of years experienced any trouble (void bets) from Unibet. They have more times than not honored bets where other bookmakers simply would have void your bets.

    Limits? If you are a recreational player or aiming to bet decent sized bets here and then, it won't be a problem for you. But limits depends on where your account is set up. If you are living in the UK or Sweden for example, your default limits will be way higher than for example someone living in X or Y. Why? Problem-punters, are one reason. People who cheat or try to perhaps affect an outcome in a minor league. Another reason is that a bookmaker generally thinks it is harder to win money from a shrewd person living in a small country, than someone who is from a big market they target.
    Unibet do limit people, however if you are a winning punter, it will certainly take longer time here than at most other bookies.

    Is your money safe at Unibet? Mine and people I know have never ever experienced any problems. As always, make sure you got the legit paper-work required, settle that before you make your first bet and it should not be a concern. I know that all people will not agree with me here (but then again this is my take of things and I can just assume it will always be trouble for someone somewhere, regardless of what a Grade says or what people say)

    Unibet do offer Poker and Casino and Live Casino and Bingo as well. The Poker Client is not bad to be honest. The amount of people there are not high enough in my opinion, to make it very interesting.
    If you play Casino, I hope you know what you are doing. I would never recommend Casino to anyone, unless you got a $100 to spare in a real casino and want the fun-factor.

    They charge 1,5% for deposits with Debit/************ and I certainly think this is no good. All it does is assuring more profit to the bookmaker. But you can easily find ways to deposit in other ways without a charge.


    I would rank this bookmaker very high and right up there, when it comes to a bookmaker and what you need. Unfortunately there are no bookmakers that have a wide range offer, high limits on everything and never slashes your limits.
    But if you are looking for a solid, safe and fun bookmaker, with a good offer, own compilers in most leagues, this is a very good choice.

    And before opening any account with any bookmaker, make sure you are allowed to bet from your country, that the bookmaker accepts player from there and anything else to keep your money safe.




  2. #2
    2birdies
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    Let's get this thread going with another bookmaker straight away.



    Ladbrokes


    Ladbrokes equals betting. If you have not heard about Ladbrokes, then there is google for you. This bookmaker has a grand tradition and reputation.

    If you like to bet big, here is your chance. Especially if they think you are not a pro-punter. On the other hand if they think you are, you can kiss the majority of the limit goodbye pretty fast. And don't expect to get away with betting a full-limit bet on a small league where the market totally crashed. That won't work with Ladbrokes or any other bookmaker these days.
    However, this used to work 10 or more years ago. But no more.

    When it comes to safety and money, this is probably as safe as your money will ever get, including the bank you have.

    I don't like their website our navigation system. It feels very undated and I wonder when they will ever come into the 21st Century. But it works and mostly runs smoothly, so if you are not to fuzzy about customer experience, it will do the trick.

    The offer is ordinary, it certainly is far away from Unibet for example. But if you are looking for the big leagues and props for those, you will always find a lot and most of them with impressive limits initially at least.

    The competition between the British Bookmakers is huge and to me it feels that Ladbrokes never fully took advantage of the fact that their brand name is without a doubt the strongest around. Or should I say, used to be.

    So this bookmaker works for anyone and if you are a high roller, your limits (with a call or mail) could be nothing but giant. That is of course if they like your business.
    If you want to use Ladbrokes for horse racing, it's a must of course. If you want the odd bet and always make sure you can get a decent amount on, it's right there too.

    As most bookmakers, they have a lot of side products. I would not say those products are better or worse. But I would say I prefer winning 1,000,000 from a Ladbrokes Casino and know I would get paid. (But then again, don't bet with a house edge).

    I don't think Ladbrokes is a fun bookie, but it's a solid bookmaker with the greatest tradition and if your money is not safe with Ladbrokes, it is not safe anywhere.
    I would recommend anyone to use this bookmaker, if it's legal to use it where you live. I would not rank it as the most exciting bookmaker out there, but it all depends on what you are expecting out of your betting experience.

  3. #3
    2birdies
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    Betway

    The company that has begun a genuine and huge transformation. Up until only two years ago, Betway was not the first choice bookie of many people. But I would not be surprised if this bookmaker in a few years time is right up there with anyone in the business when it comes to customers, turnover and profit.

    The owners are pumping in an awful lot of money in the company, and apart from sponsoring one of the biggest boxing fights last year in the UK, they are the title sponsors of the extremely popular Premier League Darts and just recently signed a contract with the soccer club West Ham to be it's shirt sponsor. Their ad's are running all over UK and since they decided to fully enter the race for the UK market, they have shown muscles and determination that few or anyone can match.

    So what about the bookie itself? It used to have problems with sign-up bonuses and did not always get everything perfectly. But in my opinion that is long gone now and they are as genuine as any other bookmaker out there.
    The offer is huge and they got a pretty good site to navigate. Live-betting is industry standard to me. Nothing better, nothing worse.

    If you are a person who wants to bet big and they like your betting-style, you will be in for a surprise. This bookmaker takes a lot of money on bets. Few can match them in that department.
    If you are looking to be a wise guy and find the raisins in the cake (especially pre-match) you can probably kiss your limit goodbye pretty fast. You have to be smarter than that in order to keep your limit going.
    For a recreational player Betway has everything that is needed. I will say this 100 times: I will never recommend anyone to bet on a casino. But if you feel like having a flutter despite the negative odds, Betway is your site for Casino games. They have an award-winning casino client and got without a doubt the best in the business.

    Is money safe with Betway? I have never had any problems, neither has any other personal contact I have had.
    I can understand there grade from a SBR point-of-view and for old things that happened. But nowadays it is hard to find any problem whatsoever with the company and it will be interesting to see where Betway goes from here.
    Anything you want from a UK bookmaker but with the benefits of a more European Style bookmaker (non UK).

  4. #4
    leetreaper
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    we already have sportsbookreviews dot com

  5. #5
    2birdies
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    This is just an informative thread with perhaps a bit more in-depth facts from a real punters point a view. It has nothing to do with the work of SBR or should be seen as some form of competitive alternative of SBR.
    I always wondered why I have seen so few of these thread from 'hard-core punters' myself so I decided to start one.
    It's my perspective and if it helps someone to choose or not to choose a bookmaker at the end of the day - mission accomplished.

  6. #6
    sbrlemon
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    keep up the good work!

  7. #7
    Hareeba!
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    Unibet chose to close my account on the eve of the introduction of Racing NSW's minimum bet rule.
    And they continue failing to comply with it.
    Prior to my account being closed they were generally good for racing but would accept only peanuts for sports betting and even then they could take up to half an hour to make a decision on the bet.

  8. #8
    Hareeba!
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    Ladbrokes limited my sports bets to waste of time level.
    When they opened up in Australia they closed my account within 2 hours before I'd had an opportunity to place a bet.
    They, like Unibet are refusing to comply with Racing NSW's minimum bet rule.
    Parasites!
    Last edited by Hareeba!; 04-16-15 at 06:44 AM.

  9. #9
    thespeculator
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    Uk has 64 million people and million bookies.

  10. #10
    2birdies
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    Limitation is a giant problem and it deserves it's own thread at some stage, with an in-depth discussion about it. I can say that I think bookies are over-doing this by a mile and it's not justified the majority of the times. If I was a bookmaker I would invest in better tools, sharper brains and be more fair with winning punters. Otherwise you are just selling a dream that does not exist.


    Bet-at-Home

    This bookmaker basically takes all it's odds from Bwin pre-match and has a very navigator-friendly site. There are some shock stories about this bookmaker and that is a shame.
    Personally I have never had any problems with pay-outs, initial limits are very respectable and if you know what you are doing as a punter, the bookmaker for sure is a potential "Goldmine" as long as your limit lasts.
    I would say having the correct paperwork, not cheating or trying to cheat or take bad lines is essential for a good experience in the end.
    But that basically goes for any business one does with a bookmaker.

    Would I recommend Bet-at-Home? For someone who is looking for a "fun experience" betting-wise, the site is good. For anyone trying to be "clever" pre-match you can probably kiss the limit goodbye fast. If you are looking for $10k bets, this is not your site.
    Since none I know ever had any problems with pay-outs or dodgy behaviour I can not say this is a bad bookie in my experience. But I have read about a lot of horrible behaviour from Bet-at-Home so I would say if you open an account there, make sure to try pay-outs at an early stage and do not deposit too much money. If everything works smoothly, you will have a fair chance of beating the bookmaker and enjoying the experience.

  11. #11
    superhans
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    You sure about bet-at-home taking bwins prices?

    Wolfsburg tonight -

    Bet-at-home - 1.84
    Bwin - 1.9
    Best Price - 1.91
    Exchanges - 1.93

    Out of all the books i've used bah has always had the worse price, and the worse promotions. I have no idea who they are trying to appeal to

  12. #12
    2birdies
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    Their margin is worse than most over bookies, that is true. I know for sure they copy and paste Bwin pre-match on most of the offer and have done so for years.
    I think they are trying to be a fun bookie for the recreational punter who does not care about odds. But since they don't do their own odds they also risk to be off a lot of times.

  13. #13
    bilbaobaggins
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    "Unibet is one the few bookies that actually have compilers these days, the old-school way of creating a market. Most other bookies buy their odds, or buy a module that provides odds or just copy n paste someone else odds."

    You sure about that? I think you'll find Unibet uses a 3rd party betting platform - its the same as 888 and 32red. Can't remember the name of the provider though.

    Odds on all three change simultaneously, so it's definitely not unibet creating the odds / markets

  14. #14
    2birdies
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    Two years ago this happened "888 Holdings has signed an agreement with Unibet’s B2B business Kambi Sports Solution, which will see the company deliver a fully managed sportsbook solution under the 888sport.com brand." Source: Gaming Intelligence

    Same goes for 32red. They are using Unibet's odds for their websites.

    There are sports that are minor on the market, and Unibet always have odds on this first. I know because I have been betting those minor sports for a long time.

    Of course Unibet has a more trading-based team as well, but credit where credit is due. Unibet compile a lot of odds themselves.




  15. #15
    2birdies
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    Bwin

    Where to start? The good news or the bad news? I don't know to be honest, all I know is that I could easily fill a small book about this company. Now we settle for a page instead.

    Not that many years ago, Bwin still was the shirt sponsor for both Real Madrid and AC Milan. That says something about the money they used to spend.
    Bwin was the first company to create a really user-friendly platform online and especially for it's livebetting. Not to mention they were certainly first with livestreams and livebetting on the smallest of sports from anywhere around the globe.

    Did it work? It certainly did, "everyone" wanted to bet with them and the ones that managed to win money from them, they got rid off (and still do) . Left were an amazing number of recreational punters who made every day a golden day for Bwin.

    Bwin works very differently from most sportsbooks, they can at times have +100 (american odds) for an in-running match and rest of the market is 25% lower. But they don't care, they care more about that match and how their book look. So if you are looking for potential value, this bookmaker is nothing but interesting.

    Have I always got paid from Bwin? Yes. Anyone I know who has not got paid? No, they always have too.
    Have I and people I know had numerous bets void without even a reason? Countless......

    Bwin looks to have lost it's 'Golden Age' a bit, site looks the same, feels the same like it did 8 years ago. Nothing has changed. Apart from the competition catching up in rapid speed.

    Have I ever thougt that Bwin might not pay out? Trust me, I have. I know about the horror stories for some people. So despite that you know that all is legit, you are not a cheater and just happened to win a few bucks, that feeling of uncertainty never leaves the system.

    But in all fairness when it comes to payouts, as I said, I have personally never had a problem. But the voiding-bets-as-you-feel-like approach is just pure robbery.

    Can I recommend them? Well, limits are low if you look at an industry-standard. Very low in fact. And if you win something, skill or luck, be sure to be in for a very fast limitation, that is one of the fastest in the industry.

    If I was to open an account with them, I would certainly deposit a low sum, and almost straight away withdraw money, to make sure this goes smoothly. I would never deposit a huge sum and in theory get the account balance up to $6k or more and await the first pay out.

  16. #16
    superhans
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    Bwin are the only Euro bookie I can think of who charge for withdrawals back to card

  17. #17
    T4TRUTH
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    LADBROKES ARE A JOKE. period, penny pinchers, no real action welcome, big brand or not a joke like most of them.. multi million operations with very tight tight operations, for the punter no good. william hill leagues above them

  18. #18
    superhans
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    Agree with that on Ladbrokes. Even their shop odds are awful. I dont even bother picking up the coupon each week

  19. #19
    2birdies
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    William Hill

    One of two British Giants (alongside Ladbrokes), dating back around 80 years. They own numerous betting shops in England and a few years back they got into the American market, buying Leroy's and Lucky's.

    Just like Ladbrokes, they failed to convert their strong brand name when Internet came along and was very slow to get things going. But I feel they have gone to greater lengths than Ladbrokes in order to catch up and get a higher market share.

    Just as with Ladbrokes, money is safe with 'Hills. Very safe and I would not feel uncomfortable sitting with a big amount on my account.

    Limits? They are indeed good when you start your business with them. If you stick with more main-stream betting patterns there is no reason to believe you will be limited fast and furiously. But if you are a clever person trying to exploit 'Hills weaknesses in smaller leagues - Sayonara to the limit and probably all of the limit.

    Offer is good, not the greatest and widest, but very solid. If you like American Sports, Horse Racing and Big League Soccer, few can match their limits and odds are competitive.
    Their site is in my opinion way more user friendly than Ladbrokes.
    They do offer all the other side products and just like their big rival, you would not be worried hitting a Casino Jackpot with them.

    Recommended? Yes, without a doubt. Fair bookmaker, safe and sound, suits almost all kind of punters. Just make sure not to bet full limit bets on minor sports pre-match (especially on dodgy leagues). That is a recipe for limit limitation and you don't want that. You want to be able to win in other, less sophisticated ways.

  20. #20
    superhans
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    On Ladbrokes, you forgot to mention how they bought the 2nd biggest/best exchange in the market, and in only two years have dragged it down to be behind smarkets and matchbook. Not to mention adding their own to the market for some crazy reason

  21. #21
    2birdies
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    Coral

    Another British Bookmaker, and always way behind 'Hills and 'Lads. Also with a lot of Betting Shops in the UK and the same concept as the others.
    The online site has gone through a few upgrades the last years, personally I do not really like it, but others might disagree with me.

    So, any reason to choose Coral as your bookmaker?

    I want to be positive. I really do. But I find few reasons to choose Coral. Yes, they are trustworthy. You will never worry that they will be cheating you or that your money is not safe. But they are notorious for limitations for punters winning money, and that very quickly.

    Just like any British Bookmaker, main focus in on the horses and the soccer. They also have the same different side products as the other 'Brits.
    If you are a recreational punter and like their website and how it navigates - why not open an account with them.
    If you are trying to have a fair chance of 'Beating the Bookmaker and win some serious money, you have to somehow and unlikely fly under their radar.

    I would not have a problem recommending Coral, from the pure fact that your money is safe and they are fair. So instead of being negative, I will leave it at this.

  22. #22
    2birdies
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhans View Post
    On Ladbrokes, you forgot to mention how they bought the 2nd biggest/best exchange in the market, and in only two years have dragged it down to be behind smarkets and matchbook. Not to mention adding their own to the market for some crazy reason

    You are absolutely right. I could write essay's on all the bookies, but sometimes I try to be shorter instead, and perhaps miss out on interesting things and takes.

    But I will give it a go now instead since you raised the topic.

    Ladbrokes bought Betdaq a few years ago, and I can only assume the reason for that was to challenge Betfair, or at least try to. The chances looked ok for that to happen, but I guess that Ladbrokes just as when they started their online operation forgot how to market it correctly and sell the product.

    What makes it sad indeed from a punters point of view, is that Betfair needs a real rival, because Betfair has gone from being something amazing for punters, to becoming a money-greedy giant that you still have to have, just because none can compete, and 'all the market and action is there'.

    So how can it be that Betdaq has managed to totally fail despite a strong owner? Your take is as good as mine. When Betfair has premium charge, when Betfair has a 5-6% commission on winnings, and you offer 3% commission.....how can you not compete with such a strong owner?

    I believe that a lot of people still at Betfair, despite their actions, are just so used to it and it works, that it would take something more than what Betdaq offers. Betfair is the king, despite all. It is just like that.
    One reason I strongly believe Betdaq is missing is the number of markets they are offering. How hard can it be to put up more in-running side-markets and at least try it and give traders a chance to meet n greet? How hard can it be for Betdaq to offer more games in-running?
    It seems it is very hard......And the reason for that I can again only guess. Lazy staff? Management who does not get it? They don't think it would attract more customers? All of the above?

    I wish I could say one day that Betdaq turned things around and seriously challenged Betfair. But I would offer high odds on that to happen I am afraid....

  23. #23
    bilbaobaggins
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    Didn't realise unibet owned kambi sports or whatever it's called, just thought it was a 3rd party platform.

    As for betdaq - is it still 3% ?? Mine was raised to 5% this year - probably due to small usage as they have poor liquidity in a lot of markets and loads of markets are unmanaged in play.

    Do you know if the ladbrokes exchange is separate from betdaq or is everything merged from both platforms?

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